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Media stories describe concerns about falls at Forth Valley Royal Hospital


Posted June 25, 2022


A number of press reports have highlighted fears that vulnerable patients at Forth Valley Royal Hospital have been put at risk of falling because of shortcomings in falls prevention care.

This page lists some of those stories.

If you know of other reports please get in touch.


Dates shown are for the posting of the stories:


September 21, 2012


“Patients are falling out of bed” The Herald

A nurse spoke to Helen Puttick, then of The Herald, and said that Forth Valley Royal Hospital did not have enough nurses on wards to provide a safe environment for patients.

She said: "It is not safe. We cannot get round our patients at night to give them treatments doctors have prescribed.

"Patients are falling out of bed.

"Relatives complain we are not delivering the care they expect, but we genuinely can't because we do not have the time."

Link to report: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13073930.new-hospital-hit-surge-sick-leave

September 23, 2012


“New hospital probed over claimed breaches of care” Daily Express


Margaret Watt of the Scottish Patients' Association, described as "Scotland's unofficial patients' watchdog", said she had been contacted by two families - one of which got in touch after their relative fell, hit his head and died in Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

The other family said their relative, a stroke victim, was "abandoned for hours in a cubicle" according to the article, by reporter Paula Murray.

Link to report: https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/347685/New-hospital-probed-over-claimed-breaches-of-care

October 31, 2013


"Dementia suffering grandmother, 80, left battered and bruised after fall” Daily Mail


Daughter of patient told reporter Wills Robinson that her mother had suffered injuries after being left unattended on a bedpan.

Carrie Stephens, the daughter of patient Agnes Stephens told the Daily Mail: “'When she was brought in she knew where she was and what day it was but after the fall she had no idea what town she was in.

'There have been so many mistakes made and I really don’t want this to happen to anyone else’s mum or dad.”

She said:

March 15, 2021


"Communication breakdown resulted in death of NHS Forth Valley patient” Alloa Advertiser


Reporter Rajmund Bakonyi told the story of a stroke victim with delirium and dementia who: 

June 15, 2021


"NHS Forth Valley apology for “failings” over sepsis patient" Alloa Advertiser


Rajmund Bakonyi for the Alloa Advertiser wrote of a patient whose treatment under the care of NHS Forth Valley was criticised by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. The Ombudsman found that shortcomings included: 

  • failures in sepsis care
  • failures in assessing falls risk
  • lack of evidence of care rounding

    Patient was admitted to Forth Valley Royal Hospital before then being transferred to Stirling Community Hospital (also under Forth Valley Heath Board). Patient was transferred back to Forth Valley Royal Hospital after developing pneumonia and a chest infection.

    The Ombudsman said: “We found that nursing staff should have formed and recorded a specific plan to address A's risk of falls at night/overnight, as that was when A was at highest risk of falling.

    "We also found that there was a lack of evidence of regular and appropriate care rounding to meet A's personal care needs.”

    Link to report: https://www.alloaadvertiser.com/news/19369481.nhs-forth-valley-apology-failings-sepsis-patient/

July 29, 2021


"Dementia patient died just days after fall from hospital bed at Forth Valley Royal Hospital" Falkirk Herald

Reporter Jonathon Reilly told the story of Euphemia Bowman, aged 74, known as Phamie. She died in 2017, after what the family claimed were a number of failures of care. The hospital apologised and admitted failures in risk assessment. The newspaper report said:

September 2, 2021


"250 Patients break a bone in Forth Valley Royal hospital in the 10 years since it opened" Falkirk Herald


Reporter Jonathon Reilly wrote: 

  • 267 bone fractures following falls since Forth Valley Royal Hospital opened
  • figures released after Freedom of Information request
  • most of the fractures were in elderly patients

    The report referenced concerns raised by the family of Euphemia Bowman, known as Phamie, who died in 2017 after a fall in hospital. NHS Forth Valley nurse director Angela Wallace had apologised for the care Mrs Bowman received, Jonathon Reilly wrote.

    The report also quoted NHS Forth Valley:

    An NHS FV spokeswoman said: “Over the past ten years there has been considerable work within NHS Forth Valley to ensure a systematic focus on falls through the Scottish Patient Safety Programme and the Nursing Care Assurance system.

    “We work closely with families as part of the risk assessment for their loved ones."

    Link to report:

    https://www.falkirkherald.co.uk/health/forth-valley-royal-hospital-falls-caused-more-than-250-patients to-break-a-bone-figures-reveal-3367648

September 30, 2021


"Family brand Forth Valley Royal Hospital's treatment of dementia patient as 'inhumane'" Falkirk Herald


Family of 88-year-old dementia patient Molly Allan claimed she suffered poor treatment, reporter Jonathon Reilly wrote.

They said she was:

• made to walk on a broken hip after falling in hospital

• left in a dirty nightie

• in a room where her soiled linen was left “stuffed in a wardrobe”.

Molly Allan's daughter Fiona told the newspaper: "“The hospital called me to say she was having difficulty bearing weight on one leg.

"They continued to mobilise her for three days before they sent her for an X-ray, only to discover her hip was broken. By making her walk on it, they displaced the fracture and it meant a full hip replacement.

“She survived the surgery but never walked again."

NHS Forth Valley said: “A wide range of training and measures are in place in all of our inpatient wards to help reduce the risk of falls.

"When a fall does occur, any learning is shared along with other relevant action to help prevent it from happening again.”

Link to report:


October 21, 2021


"Call for inquiry into Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s treatment of dementia patients after falls complaints" Falkirk Herald


Story written by Jonathon Reilly

• Gail Bowman’s mother Phamie Bowman died after she fell and broke her hip and shoulder in Forth Valley Royal Hospital in 2017

• she spoke about her horror of hearing how another dementia patient, Molly Allan, was said by her family to have suffered poor care – including being made to walk on a broken hip

• Gail Bowman said: ““I put it on Facebook and said it’s ridiculous they’re still treating dementia patients poorly. About eight different people contacted me with horror stories about what happened to their families. I’ve decided I want Nicola Sturgeon and the Health Secretary to take it to Holyrood. I’m collecting stories because I think it’s going to have more of an impact on the hospital."

Michael Matheson, Falkirk West MSP, wrote to NHS Forth Valley asking for details of improvements in care for dementia patients, the newspaper report described.

NHS Forth Valley claimed it had made improvements, the story said.

Link to report:






This is an independent website which aims to collect and publish links to information in the public domain relating to falls that have followed failures of nursing care at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and within NHS Forth Valley.

This website is not connected with NHS Forth Valley or Forth Valley Royal Hospital - but it would like to know why patients keep falling, are injured - and sometimes go on to die - after falls on wards where nursing protocols have not been observed properly.

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